Young people drinking

Sir, Every now and again someone in research invents a Bullsh*t Bingo term just so they can foist some new, expensive service on gullible marketers. The hot one being bandied around a lot recently - including in these illustrious pages, sadly - is ‘millennials’.

And it’s utter b*ll*cks.

To fall for the ‘M’ word is to fall into classic ‘generation-caging’ - the notion that an age group thinks, feels and behaves in exactly the same way. Like the Borg in Star Trek, if you will.

It’s simply not true that age defines people - it’s mindset. Don’t believe me? Go to a music festival. Go to the Proms. Go to a play. Go to a food festival. The audiences are all multi-aged, all there with a shared passion.

Just being a certain age doesn’t imbue the exact same characteristic likes and dislikes. How weird would that be if it were true? The sheer oddness of the notion of shared age group behaviour intensifies because of the age range the term ‘millennial’ covers. Its definition (I use that term with disdain) is someone born between 1977 and 2000. In other words, someone who could be 40 or, er, 17.

Commonality of behaviour isn’t driven by age, it’s inter-generational. Put simply in the context of grocery/fmcg, more people across every age group want better food, better ingredients and more accurate/honest labelling.

So for the love of all things sane, ignore the snake oil salesmen. Just hire BS Bingo-free marketers and PRs who, simply, understand people and what makes them tick.

Martin Ballantine, MD, Piracy Corporation